Delta Wins Dismissal of California Mobile App Privacy Suit

Delta Air Lines Inc. won dismissal of claims it violated California’s Internet privacy law because its mobile-phone application didn’t notify users that personal information, such as their locations, was being collected.
California Attorney General Kamala Harris sued Atlanta-based Delta in December alleging its “Fly Delta” app didn’t have a clearly posted privacy policy. Judge Marla Miller in state court in San Francisco agreed today with the airline that the federal Airline Deregulation Act bars states from imposing regulations on airlines related to price, routes or services.
“In this instance it’s services,” Miller said at a hearing. “I think that this case is, in effect, an attempt to apply a state law designed to prevent unfair competition, which regulates an airline’s communication with consumers, and I think it’s pre-empted.”
California’s Online Privacy Protection Act requires websites and services that collect personal information to post a conspicuous privacy policy telling consumers what information is being collected and how it will be used.
“We are reviewing the judge’s ruling and will not have additional comment at this time,” Lynda Gledhill, a spokeswoman for the attorney general, said by e-mail.
The case is People of the State of California v. Delta Air Lines Inc. (DAL), CGC-12-526741, Superior Court of California, San Francisco County (San Francisco).

By Karen Gullo

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